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Teaching and Learning

Irene Hawkins

What is learning?

What is learning?

Learning happens when

experience produces a
stable change in
someones knowledge or

What is Direct Instruction?

Direct instruction, also known as
explicit teaching, is the traditional
method of teaching whereby the teacher
lectures and then questions students on
the content presented.

Pros of Direct Instruction

It ensures that state mandated
topics of study are covered prior to
state achievement tests
It is easy to manage available
instructional time to include
everything that needs to be taught
It includes an opportunity for
informal student assessment and
It keeps student behavior issues to a

Cons of Direct
Limited to lower-level
Ignores innovative models of
Discourages students
independent thoughts and

Is direct
on bad?

Three General Theories of


1. Behavioral
2. Cognitive
3. Constructivist

Behavioral Perspective on
A-B-C: Antecedent Behavior

Reinforcement (encourages or strengthens

Positive reinforcement
Negative reinforcement
Punishment (suppresses or weakens behavior)
Direct punishment
Removal punishment

Positive Reinforcement
High grades
Good behavior rewards
Money for chores

The student is getting something he or

she wants; therefore, the behavior is
reinforced and strengthens.

Negative Reinforcement

Exempt a student from a test

Excuse a student from class
Excuse a child from chores
Although something is being taken away,
it is something that the child does not
want to do; therefore, the behavior is
reinforced and is strengthened.

Direct Punishment
In School Suspension
Punish work
The student is receiving something they
do not want; therefore, the behavior

Removal Punishment
Not going out for recess
Not allowed to go to school dance
Not receiving chore money

The child is losing something they want to

do; therefore, the behavior weakens.

Behavioral (Strengths)
Highly effective way to target unwanted
Based on observable behaviors

Behavioral (Weaknesses)
What works for one student may not
work for all.
You must know, beforehand, what the
students motivating force is.

When should I use a

behavioral approach?
Identify a situation in your school that you
would like to change. Think about the
participants (students, parents, or teachers)
whose behaviors could change for the better
to improve the situation. Now identify the
possible reinforcers for their current
behavior what desirable outcomes do they
achieve for acting the way they do or what
unpleasant outcomes do they escape?
-Hoy & Miskel

Behavioral Approach
The Good Behavior Game
The entire class earns rewards based on
the collective behavior of the class. This
is usually based on a point system going
toward the class total.
Divide class into teams.
Students receive points for inappropriate
classroom behaviors.

The team with the fewest points at the end of

the predetermined period of time wins.
If all teams have fewer than a predetermined
amount, everyone wins!

Cognitive Approach to
Uses the way people think to solve
Takes what students already know to
guide future learning

Two Kinds of Knowledge

General Knowledge
Applies to a variety of situations
How to use a computer
How to read

Domain-specific Knowledge
Relates to a specific task or subject
Using Microsoft Word to type an essay
Learning lines from Shakespeare

Working Memory
Maintenance Rehearsal
Repeat information to get it to
last longer

Elaborate Rehearsal
Associate information to
something you already know

Long-Term Memory
Memorization strategies:

Underline and highlight information

Take notes
Visual mapping
Application strategies:
Translate information into own words
Create examples
Explain to a friend
Act out a concept
Draw a diagram
Apply knowledge to new problems

When to use Cognitive Approach to Learning

Use when you want students

to understand and recall
information for a later time.

Cognitive (Strengths)
Allows students to remember vast amounts of

Helps students focus on the most important
Makes use of prior knowledge to learn new
Students mentally organize information into
meaningful chunks of knowledge
Provides review and repetition of information
Focuses on the meaning of the content, not just

Cognitive (Weaknesses)
The information students
learn becomes part of their
long-term memories. If they
learn it incorrectly the first
time, it is likely they will
always remember it that way.

Constructivist Approach to
Students take an active role in their own
Social interactions improve learning.

Jean Piaget
Knowledge is not a copy of reality. To
know an object, to know an event, is not
simply to look at it and make a mental
copy or image of it. To know an object
is to act on it. To know is to modify, to
transform the object, and to understand
the process in this transformation, and
as a consequence to understand the way
the object is constructed.

Three Characteristics
Contingency Support: The teacher is constantly
adjusting and tailoring responses to the student.

Fading: The teacher gradually withdraws support

as the students develop understanding and skills.

Transferring Responsibility: Students assume

more and more responsibility for their own
-Hoy & Miskel

When to use Constructivist

Use with information that you want
students to be able to apply to the
real world.

Classroom Examples:
Jigsaw: Students are separated
into learning sections where they
each learn something different and
teach it to the rest of the class.
Scripted Cooperation: Students
work in pairs to complete an
assignment then take turns sharing
information learned. One partner
summarizes the information
learned while the other listens,
takes notes, then fills in incorrect

Constructivist (Strengths)

This method is beneficial

to ELL students since it
encourages them to speak
and explain themselves.

Constructivist (Weaknesses)
Students with special needs
These students need more time for planning
and preparation. They may have difficulty
quickly understanding new concepts; and
therefore, struggle with these activities.

Gifted students
If the class involves mixed ability groups, this
may not be beneficial to gifted students
because the pace is often too slow and
repetitive. This leads to them taking over
the assignment rather than sharing
responsibility and learning from one another.

Behavioral Approach:
Use it to control classroom misbehaviors so that all
students can gain the most from instruction.

Cognitive Approach:
Use what students already know to be able to learn
new information. Repetition is key to improve long-term

Constructivist Approach:
Allow students to work collaboratively to learn, but also
to learn how to present information to others.

Works Cited
Hoy, W.K., & Miskel, C. G. (2013). Educational
administration: Theory, research, and practice.
New York: McGraw-Hill.